by Judy Newman with Cristy Bertini and Alana Pedalino
Sometimes I like to daydream while wandering around the grocery store, which is probably because I don’t have to do much thinking about anything else besides which items I need to buy for dinner.
On this particular day, I was in the produce section looking at all the colorful fruits and vegetables.
I couldn’t help but imagine what kinds of clothes the fruits and vegetables put on when the employees head home for the night and they head over to the dairy disco or bakery barn dance.
Zucchinis in bikinis. Bananas in pajamas. A grape in a cape or green beans in skinny jeans. I could imagine an ear of corn wearing a husk tuxedo, lettuce in dresses, a habanero in a sombrero, or even a little pear running around in his underwear.
This got me thinking about the laugh-out-loud picture book Potato Pants! by Laurie Keller. Potato is so excited about a one-day-only sale at Lance Vance’s Fancy Pants Store. Even though Potato makes it to the store on time, his eggplant nemesis stops him from buying a brand-new set of trousers. But what kind of pants do potatoes wear? According to our spudtacular Scholastic Book Clubs Book of the Week, the possibilities are endless.
Potato rushes to the store early, but his enthusiasm quickly deflates when he sees Eggplant, who knocked him down the day before. Believing Eggplant to be a big bully, Potato is too afraid to go into the store and thinks he missed his chance for a new pair of pants.
“A high-energy read with plenty of kid appeal.” —Kirkus Reviews
“There’s plenty of silly illustrations and attractive potato pants to keep chuckling readers turning pages to the end.” —The New York Times
“A manic tale that’s going to be very hard to read without inducing ‘peels’ of laughter.” —Booklist
Beyond being a fun read-aloud, this book also brings up those universal feelings of childhood anxiety. The story highlights what can happen when you make a snap judgment before you have all the facts. Potato and Eggplant help children realize that everyone makes mistakes and it’s never too late to say you’re sorry.
David Vozar got an early lesson in alterations…
Any way you slice it, Potato Pants! is a perfect recipe for a social-emotional classroom discussion about misunderstandings, forgiveness, and friendship.
We’ve created some teacher-approved resources to help you share Potato Pants! with your students:
• Watch the Book Girls in a classroom-friendly video.
• Learn how a teacher uses the Book of the Week in her classroom in Book Talks
• Read an exclusive interview with author Laurie Keller in Behind the Scenes
• Download a printable story-elements organizer activity to accompany Potato Pants! in Cooked Up from a Book
I hope your students love reading Potato Pants! and that they learn this lesson: Don’t judge a book by its cover, and don’t judge a potato by its pants. And next time you’re at the grocery store, keep your eyes peeled for squashes in galoshes!
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Book Clubs